Get ready for an exciting 2023 racing season!
It has been one of those winters, cold and snowy. Hopefully this weekend when the Sportsdrome Speedway holds its 2022 Track Champions Banquet its drivers, teams, and families will get to enjoy it without interference from mother nature. Owner-Operator Mike Gibson has some huge events set for 2023. For more than 75 years The Drome has entertained fans and given local racers an opportunity to battle every week. The small short track just off I-65 in Jeffersonville (5 minutes from downtown Louisville) is a popular local weekend destination for fans.
Louisville's Ben Rhodes is gearing up for another season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The 2021 series champion (Who almost won it again last year) isn't sitting around waiting for trucks to take the green flag at Daytona in mid-February. Rhodes is partnering with NASCAR driver and new truck teammate Hallie Deegan to drive the No. 41 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4. It is not a truck! Together they'll compete in the car in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Both have had some good times in the ROAR Before the 24 practice and qualifying sessions. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona on the the 3.56-mile Daytona road course officially kicks of the 2023 season.
Across the country in Phoenix, six NASCAR teams will be testing at the Phoenix Raceway over a two-day period. NASCAR competition officials want to evaluate any changes to the Next Gen car’s rules package. Much of it is technical. It may also assist in helping improve car and driver safety.
Exciting changes are ahead for the Salem Speedway. A few weeks back the sell closed and the half-mile high banked track has a new owner. Former USAC Midget racer Nick Bohanon and his family bought it. The Southern Indiana family promises a strong schedule and many upgrades. Bohanon says it will take time but some changes will be seen this racing season. The biggest stars from all major series have raced there. See Two-time Salem track Champion Will Kimmel and Bohanon talk about Salem Speedway in a special Kimmel Racing interview below.
Congrats are in order for some great drivers inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame! 2003 NASCAR Cup Champion Matt Kenseth, NASCAR Crew Chief and part-time Kirk Shelmerdine (Who helped Dale Earnhardt Sr. get four Cup titles), and the longtime veteran, Hershel McGriff, who won four Cup races back in 1954. And at the age of 90 years old in 2018, competed in a NASCAR event. And a longtime stalwart in NASCAR, Vice Chairman Mike Helton got a well recognized honor with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
As for ARCA, locally, two teams are sending drivers to Daytona in hopes of qualifying and running in the ARCA 200 on Saturday February 18 (See it on Fox Sports 1). Bill and Will Kimmel with Kimmel Racing in Clarksville, Indiana have put together two cars for its Ford drivers Scott Melton and Gage Rodgers. Will is not racing in the event, but expect him to get behind the wheel in a few ARCA races and other regional and local events this season. He's taken a more hands on roll in ownership as of late. There is no one better to pass down knowledge to him than his father, Bill Kimmel Jr. Also testing and planning to enter the ARCA race in Daytona is Kevin Campbell from Shepherdsville, Kentucky. He runs a Chevy with KC Motorsports. ARCA will have a have a well-known face racing this season. Frankie Muniz was the star of the the hit TV series "Malcolm in the Middle" in the 2000's. The 37-year old Muniz got the racing bug nearly 20 years ago when he ran in several several pro-celebrity events.
It really was not a surprise to hear Kevin Harvick will not compete full-time in the Cup Series after this season. Like Jimmie Johnson (This year), Harvick will race part-time in select events starting in 2024. We don't believe for a moment Harvick can't run a full slate of races in 2024 or for that matter in 2025. The 47-year old driver is that good. But like Johnson, Earnhardt, Jarrett, Gordon, and others have learned, there comes a time to turn the reigns over to the upcoming generation. Then there is the Cars Tour. It is a short-track racing series in the Carolina's and surrounding states. Harvick, Jeff Burton, Justin Marks, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. bought a majority interest in it. The Cars Tour has been around for about a decade and is a premier late model asphalt touring series. Tony Stewart has had great success with his SRX Racing Series. Fans will be treated to some great action and excitement with the Cars Tour. You can bet a sports network will be talking to the new owners about getting the events on television. Fans like competitive racing. And when they attend a race, they also want prices that don't break the bank, especially if you're taking the entire family. These smaller series make that possible. Should be interesting to watch the growth in the Cars Tour.
Kentuckiana Motorsports is proud to be back for the 21st consecutive year. What started as a small cable only show in 2002, and grew into a highly successful TV show. We've had many fans events, and offered radio along the way. Our Lucas Oil Online Race Report has been a staple of what we do. Now, we're continuing to grow our online and social media footprint. We will have fun this season!
We want to thank our sponsors for riding along with us. Lucas Oil has been a huge backer of all we do. Improve the performance of your car or truck by adding Lucas Oil products into the tank or engine. It Works! Other supporters: PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!), locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff (KY) ( It also has a sister dealership, Tri-County Ford in Oldham County, KY). KMS friends also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for about $25.00 a line, and that includes all taxes and fees), Temco Roofing, Jim Ellis/Attorney At Law, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, Lyndon Mower Repair, and Kentucky Medicare Plans (Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana with Health and Medicare plans). We also thank our media connections in all series, especially NASCAR and with NASCAR Media for helping us bring the sport to the fans!
We also urge you to visit: www.protecttheharvest.com . Discover more about our amazing farmers, ranchers, and fisherman. The Lucas Oil backed initiative has been a longtime supporter of those who work and love the outdoors.
Enjoy the racing!